It’s the 14th of July, Bastille Day–La Fête Nationale, celebrating the day the notorious prison La Bastille in Paris, was stormed and destroyed, in July 1789.
The fall of the Bastille, symbolizes the start of the French Revolution, which led to the killing of the king–Louis the XVI and the end of the ancient regime (old order).
Shortly after, on 4th August, feudalism was abolished and on 26th August 1789, the Declaration of the Rights of Man was proclaimed.
Momentous stuff–allez les Bleus!
Things were a good deal less momentous here this morning!
The distant whizz-bangs from the fireworks in Lautrec late Saturday evening and the sounds of one side’s ecstatic celebrations in Rio de Janeiro last night have given way to blessed silence.
Just the cooing of a dove and the chirps of birds telling each other about our bird feeder.
The supermarkets are closed (Sundays too–a new edict from the Prefet of the Tarn, our department) and there’s no post.
Visitors are always puzzled, often dismayed and sometimes angered about the eccentricities, as they see it, of commercial opening hours here.
There are four rush hours on normal weekdays as people take off at midday for lunch, chez eux (at home).
The Tour de France–the jauntiness of the logo below belies the task they face today…
is in the mountains of the Vosges, close to the German border, for a second day–just a few ups and downs!
A Frenchman hasn’t won the tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985–an astonishing and damning statistic.
Wearing the yellow jersey (maillot jaune) today, which denotes the leader, is Tony Gallopin, a Frenchman.
French pride restored, if only for a day–but the biggest day in the French calendar.
I shall be urging them on from the comfort of the sofa; in awe at another day of agony suffered by the riders in this epic of athletic endurance.
Allez tout le monde!